A New Generation of Free Trade Agreements That Privilege Business Interests Over Human Rights — Shalini Bhutani

Source: The Wire

BY SHALINI BHUTANI

There must be ex ante human rights impact assessment of the trade agreements and investment treaties that are being negotiated by the ASEAN community, including with and in India.

Will RCEP trade negotiations privilege businesses over human rights? Credit: Reuters

Aug 30, 2016. The founders of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) – foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, had in 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand created an organisation meant for peace, freedom and prosperity of the region’s people.

Today, the ASEAN is a group of ten countries in the South East Asia (SEA) region. The group comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

ASEAN is also to expand to include more countries. Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste are seeking accession; while Fiji and Bangladesh are likely future members.  An ASEAN charter rendering the grouping a legal personality came into force as recently as December 2008. And ASEAN members formally declared the establishment of the ASEAN Community with effect from 31 December 2015. Read more